Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)
Sunday School Information
The Hamilton Nursery, which serves our children ages birth-prekindergarten, is open on Sunday during our 9:00 am Traditional Service, 10:00 am Sunday School, and 11:00 am Ancient Modern Service. Elementary Sunday School is Sunday morning from 10:00-10:45 am in the Children’s Wing classrooms:
K/1st Grade Boys: Room 256/258
K/1st Grade Girls: Room 260/262
2nd/3rd Grade Boys: Room 259
2nd/3rd Grade Girls: Room 240 (The Huddle)
4th/5th Grade Boys: Room 261
4th/5th Grade Girls: Room 257
We ask that you please pre-register your children online weekly by noon each Friday so that we have adequate staff and volunteers present on Sunday mornings to keep our kids safe. Please go to What’s Going On-Open Registrations.
The Children’s Ministry will continue to send home weekly emails with Sunday School lessons for preschoolers and elementary school kids. Please contact Callie Beaver at email@example.com to be added to our email distribution list. Our church services will also continue to be live streamed each week. We encourage all of our families to spend some time together (either at church or at home) in worship and Sunday School every week!
*Please note that some of these dates and types of events may have to change due to social distancing restrictions.*
Vacation Bible School 2021*
Registration closes May 15!
Vacation Bible School 2021: Treasured! Discovering you’re priceless to God! Kids will embark on an epic quest through hidden ruins, ancient caves, and dense jungles as they discover that God’s greatest treasure isn’t diamonds, gems or gold- it’s them! Online registration for VBS attendees opens April 1 and closes May 15. The $25 registration fee covers all expenses including materials, snacks, T-shirt, and a music CD. Scholarships are available; please contact Callie Beaver to make arrangements.
Children who are four years old by August 15, 2021 through rising 6th graders are eligible to participate in VBS. If your child is younger than that age, we have a special Volunteer VBS just for them which is available (free of charge) to the children of volunteers.
We will have two options for VBS this summer:
Evening Family VBS: June 2-4, 2021; 6:30-8:00 PM
Bring your family and spread out on blankets at our beautiful McVay Gardens as we embark on our journey through the VBS curriculum. Your family will enjoy fun music, crafts, science experiments, and bible stories during this three-night VBS experience.
Weekday VBS: June 7-11, 2021; 9:00 AM – 12:00 noon
This daytime adventure will engage all ages – preschool through rising sixth grade. Kids will enjoy crafts, bible stories, science experiments, and games as they discover that they are priceless to God!
ADULT AND YOUTH VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! VBS is a great production which requires many hands. We need help with decorations, curriculum preparation, and administrative tasks. Of course, we need many Adult and Youth volunteers during the week to lead stations and small groups. You do not have to have school age children participating in VBS to volunteer. We have a place for you if you are interested in volunteering. Please contact Callie Beaver or Natalie Adkinson to find where you are best suited to serve and register online to volunteer starting April 1.
Summer Fun 2021
Mission and Movie Mondays: June 21, June 28, July 12, July 19; 10:00 AM-2:00 PM
Get out of the hot summer heat and join some friends for crafts, lesson, lunch and a movie. Children have an incredible heart for missions but no way to generate income to financially support them. Each of these Mondays, we will learn about a different local, national, or international mission. We then create some high-quality crafts and then sacrificially donate them to be sold in the fall to generate money for a chosen mission. After our hard work, we will enjoy a pizza lunch and flop in the beanbag chairs for a movie and treat. This is a great way to learn, give, and have fun – out of the summer heat! Lunch is $5. Please register online.
Summer Dodgeball/Gaga Ball: June 30, July 21 (2-4 PM) Owings Life Enrichment Center
If you are looking for some great fun, summer dodgeball/gaga ball is for you! Join us at the OLEC to play some dodgeball, gaga ball, and eat popsicles. This event is free of charge, no registration needed, and guests are welcome. Kids in rising grades 3-6 only, please.
Table for 8 Parent Night Out: June 25 (5:30-8:30 PM)
You know you need it! Let us spend some quality time with your kids while you enjoy a night out. Kids will enjoy a night of pizza, dessert, and a movie. The Middle will host a Table for 8 event this evening and match you up with other adults for an evening of eating and fellowship. Please register online and you will receive an email from the Middle about Table for 8. Cost is $10 per child.
Mission Camp for Rising 5th and 6th Graders*
(July 5-9, 2021)
This week of discovery leads children who are entering grades 5 and 6 through a variety of mission opportunities. Children will work in inner-church missions, urban missions, and rural missions. This is a transforming week for children as they taste the types of mission opportunities available and begin deciding where they feel most lead to serve. Online registration open May 1st! Click here to register.
(July 25-31, 2021)
“Away Camp” is a life-changing experience for children. We are taking a crew from GUMC to Lakeshore for a week of fun and fellowship. If you are interested in attending this week, please register through Lakeshore’s Website (https://lakeshorecamp.org) and then drop an email to middle school director Lisa Pierce (firstname.lastname@example.org) or elementary director Callie Beaver (email@example.com) so we can coordinate this trip together. Our youth ministry team, Lisa Pierce and Brian Richards, will be staying the week as camp deans of Elementary Camp #4. There is also a Jr. High Camp #3 that same week for any students who have completed grades 5-8 (must be 12 years old). Of course, we will be needing high school counselors who would like to work with us this week! If you have not trained as a Lakeshore counselor but are interested in participating in this way, there is a final counselor training event the weekend of April 9-11, 2021. If you absolutely cannot train this weekend, please contact Lisa Pierce for a potential alternative.
Lakeshore has an abundance of opportunities for all campers; there are a variety of camps offered all summer long! There are camps for people with special needs, as well as camps for people who have suffered traumatic experiences. There is a camp for people who love to fish, a camp for people who love aquatics, a camp for the arts, and a camp for those who love living in the wilderness. There is even a camp for people who love board games! There is a camp for everyone, so go to their website and take a peek.
If you ARE interested in participating the week of July 25, we encourage you to register as soon as possible. This week of camp fills up quickly. Lakeshore has a limited number of available spaces to reduce the risk of Covid spread, so it is essential to register early.
WOW- Worship on Wednesdays with Kids
(We will resume in Fall 2021)
Our mid-week program which runs during the school year provides a variety of opportunities for children to experience Christian fellowship and develop a closer relationship to Christ. This is our children’s ministry equivalent of “youth group”. Elementary Children will meet at McVay Gardens (inside the OLEC Gym if too cold or raining) from 6:00-7:15 PM. Younger children will be in the Hamilton Nursery. We will be unable to serve dinner and snacks this fall so be sure to eat before you come. Children ages 3 and up will need to bring a mask with them. Please register your children online each week under What’s Going On-Open Registrations. Any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(October 31, 2021)
This church-wide celebration takes place right after worship over at the OLEC. Kids may wear non-scary costumes and enjoy fun activities such as inflatables, face painting, cookie decorating, putt-putt, and other games led by our adult Sunday school classes. Lunch will be available for purchase.
(November 17, 2021)
In preparation for the Advent season, families are invited to attend this special mid-November event geared towards children of all ages. Families can create their own Advent wreath, make a nativity set, and have fun with other Advent crafts. There are light refreshments. This event is free to all and no registration is required.
Journey to Bethlehem*
(December 4, 2021)
Families with young children (and older people who are children at heart) are invited to attend this special GUMC tradition. Children will walk the path of Jesus’ birth. They will begin with the angels, move to Bethlehem for Jesus’ birth, visit the shepherds, and finish with the wise men. After learning the reason we share gifts at Christmas, children will have a chance to share their wish list with the Jolly Ol’ Guy himself. This event is free to all and no registration is required.
Children’s Alternative Christmas*
(December 5, 2021)
On this morning, elementary-aged children will have an opportunity to shop for gifts for family and friends. Each gift is $5, of beautiful quality, wrapped, and tagged. Children will also learn about free-trade and mission-oriented gifts and will learn about being a purposeful giver. Preschool children may shop between worship hours or after church ends. No registration necessary; bring $5 for each gift you intend to purchase.
Ignite!- A Retreat for 4th and 5th Graders*
(This event has been postponed due to COVID restrictions- stay tuned for an update)
4/5 graders travel to a local retreat facility for a one-night retreat with a focus on worship, fellowship, and team building. This weekend is a lot of fun, action packed, and full of growth as we learn to worship in a more meaningful way.
Created by God*
Created by God is a program resource designed to communicate to fifth and sixth graders that we are a fantastic creation made by God. The topics of human sexuality, values, and relationships are approached in a frank, honest, and Bible-based manner. This is a Friday night and Saturday morning course for tweens; parental attendance is required for two sessions. There will be a parent meeting in January to answer any questions before registration opens January 2022.
Easter Egg Hunt*
(April 16, 2022)
Our annual Easter Egg Hunt is held the Saturday before Easter at our beautiful McVay Gardens. This fun and festive event provides photo opportunities galore! In addition to the traditional Egg Hunt, children can enjoy fun crafts, a petting zoo, train rides, and much more! The Easter Bunny makes an appearance as well!
Children’s Music Choirs
Dates and details to be determined
Playing team sports is a wonderful way to build friendships, confidence, and a love for active fun. If your child is interested in team sports, please consult our opportunities offered through our Health and Recreation Ministry at the Owings Life Enrichment Center (OLEC). Contact Judy Oros at email@example.com for more information.
Ways to Join the Children’s Ministry Team
We want you to consider how you can work with us to create a vibrant ministry. There are a number of volunteer opportunities. Please read through these and find a place you feel your talents can best be used. We would love to see all families represented in our ministry. Just like most ministries, you will find you get much more back than you could ever give. Please prayerfully consider your role.
Sunday Morning Kids Quest Mentor: This crucial role is on the front lines of ministry with children. These individuals come each Sunday starting in August, building relationship with the children and sharing the Good News. Mentors use lessons to follow up the main lesson taught in large group. All lessons and materials are provided; you only need to bring a servant’s heart and love for God and children. Men, we need YOU to lead our boy groups. Time requirement includes 1 hour 15 minutes on Sunday morning and about 15 minutes of prep each week. We understand work and travel and will have substitutes for these occasions. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested in this role.
Sunday Morning Substitute Teachers: These individuals fill in when our regular Sunday School mentors are not available. All lessons and materials are provided; you only need to bring a servant’s heart and love for God and children. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested.
Sunday Morning Stepping Stones Volunteers: These individuals present or assist with the weekly small-group lesson in the preschool classes. After large group time, each group will return to their classroom for the small group lesson. All lessons and materials are provided. Please contact Kristin Dickerson to volunteer for this ministry.
Grace Class Leader: Grace is our class designed for elementary-aged children with special needs. We need teachers for this class as well as shadows to go with children if they chose to enter the Kids Quest program. Volunteers can either serve for one month or once a month for the school year; commitment is about one hour 15 minutes each week. All materials and training are provided. Please contact Natalie Adkinson if you are interested.
Wednesday Night Small Group Leader: These individuals will join us on Wednesday nights for dinner, worship, and small group. We will begin at 5:30 with dinner in the Huddle, move to the chapel for worship, and then break into small groups and games. We will end at 7:15. All lessons and materials are provided. This is a semester commitment running for 10 weeks (excluding fall break and ending at Thanksgiving for the semester). We will resume in January and run up to Palm Sunday. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested in helping with this ministry. (If you are not able to make it in time for the dinner, you are welcome to join us at 6:00 for the rest of the evening.)
Wednesday Night Food Prep: These individuals purchase and prepare the meal for Wednesday nights each week. The meals are very “kid-friendly” including favorites such as chicken nuggets, pizza, hot dogs, etc. No big-time cooking is necessary, just heating and serving. Time commitment each week is approximately one hour for purchase of food and two hours for preparing/serving/cleaning up. This job could be divided if multiple people work together. This is also a wonderful way for a Sunday school class to serve. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested in serving in this ministry area. Note: We will not be having Wednesday night meals during the 2020-21 school year.
Kids Quest Lesson/Environment Prep Team: Our curriculum has monthly themes which require environment changes and props. This team will develop the environment each month for our theme as well as assemble props for the weekly stories. We also have numerous copies to be made and materials to be gathered for each month’s lessons. This will require about five hours a month and is not a Sunday morning commitment. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested in helping in this ministry area.
Special Events Team: This team works seasonally for special events such as Fall Festival, Advent Workshop, Journey to Bethlehem, Easter Egg Hunt, etc. Please contact Callie Beaver if you are interested in this ministry area.
1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Please prayerfully consider where you can serve in our children’s ministry, doing it all for the glory of God.
The Children’s Ministry is sending home weekly emails with Sunday School lessons for our preschoolers and elementary school children. Please contact Natalie Adkinson or Callie Beaver if you are not receiving these emails.
There are three main goals for our ministry:
Move kids to love God by inciting WONDER.
Move kids to love life by provoking DISCOVERY.
Move kids to love others by fueling PASSION.
While every lesson is different, there is an element in each which leads back to these concepts. We want the children to understand the Scriptures are alive and relevant to today. Therefore, our lessons are active, engaging, and hands-on. Our one priority is to teach kids to LOVE GOD! “‘…with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22: 37-38